Painting a still life is a time-honored painting genre that dates back to the time of the Flemish and Dutch masters of the Renaissance. While their contemporaries in the Latin countries were busy with religious and humanistic themes, the masters of the Northern countries perfected the art of depicting secular themes and creating meaningful paintings by means of skilful composition and realistic depictions. “First Still Life Painting, a work of acrylic on canvas, is Kim Vale’s take on this venerable tradition.
“First Still Life Painting” depicts a wine bottle, a carafe, a couple of fruits and an empty liquor bottle with a red cover on its side. These items are arranged on a yellow cloth against a background of deep blue and purple. Because a still life painting cannot appeal to human interest in order to create an emotional response in the viewer, it must do so by working with more abstract concepts to produce the desired effect – with color, composition, texture, and light. This painting is reasonably successful in catching the eye, thanks to the interesting shapes and strong colors found in it.
This painting is quite modern in its feel, as it doesn’t seek to represent each object perfectly as much as it tries to give a feel of festiveness and brightness that is slightly reminiscent of the work of masters like Cezanne and Matisse. The yellow in the tablecloth contrasts brightly with the blues and purples in the background, while the fluorescent orange and green fruit that lie amongst the drinking vessels are an almost jarring yet eye-catching note in the very centre of the canvas. In the meantime, there is an interesting, almost ghostly glow in the glass of the bottle in the foreground that sets off the greenish-coppery tones in the carafe at the back. Taken as a whole, the painting is visually appealing and memorable enough – it’s a still life, but it manages to be quite dynamic.
This “First Still Life Painting” is a laudable effort by an artist who seems to have an instinct for colors and arrangements that catch the eye. If you’d like to see more artwork like this or even offer to buy this unique painting, stop by Chings Resto-Kaffee at the Jade Dragon’s Suites, one of the nicest cheap hotels in Davao City. If you love art and are visiting Davao City, then this Davao hotel should be perfect for you.
Still life paintings have been around for a long time, but they continue to be popular especially as decorative pieces. Yet, the best still life paintings are able to transcend the decorative label and manage to become as thought-provoking and emotional an experience to the viewer as any portrait or action painting. Think, for instance, of Van Gogh’s series of sunflower paintings. Amanda Echevarria’s “Shine” strives to achieve this transcendent effect through the discriminating use of a few choice visual elements.
“Shine” is executed with oil pastel on paper. It depicts a couple of luminously glowing blue flowers on a dark ground along with some billows of blue fabric. The artist was obviously having fun working with light in this painting. Indeed, in itself it is a study of how certain surfaces catch light. The fabric has a rich sheen to it that tells us it is satin, while the flowers also exude a wonderful radiance. The way the light strikes these two objects is interesting – while the sheen on the cloth is realistic, the way the flowers are lit goes beyond the limits of what’s possible in the physical world.
In this painting, we have great tension between the natural and the artificial, the deliberate and the accidental, as well as the real and the unreal. We have the flower against the cloth, the nonchalant way the flowers lie and the deliberately arranged folds of fabric, and the lighting effects. It is these tensions that undoubtedly make this painting a conversation piece. The title alone tells us that the artist is interested in exploring these contrasts, and so we should take note of the ones that eventually lend the most character to this painting.
In “Shine” one can’t help but be drawn to the soulful way that the blue flowers glimmer against their background. The satin is meant to be a foil for them, but they clearly outshine it, making their natural beauty triumph over the artifice. These two little blue blossoms stand for loveliness that cannot be hidden and cannot be held back.
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Landscape painting is one of the most beloved genres all over the world, from Van Gogh’s colorful turbulent depictions of the night sky over Arles to the most tranquil and minimalist renditions of bamboos and misty mountains on silk scrolls from Ancient China. There is something simply magical about a view that is ostensibly accessible to everyone re-imagined and re-constructed through the artist’s eyes and hands. In the three-part series composed of paintings entitled “Morning Lilies,” “The Afternoon Scape,” and “New Dawn,” Glenn Baga gives viewers a glimpse of worlds that are part real and part imagination.
In “Morning Lilies” the viewer is treated to a sight reminiscent of Monet’s iconic water lily paintings. These lilies are also rendered in a slightly Impressionist manner, with the artist paying careful attention to the dappled look of purplish-blue early morning light on dark water. The lily pads themselves are bright green and yellow, solid islands of color over the shifting surface of the pond and punctuated by a single pink-and-white blossom.
“The Afternoon Scape” meanwhile depicts a fiery fall scene, with a blue-and-white sky and lush green mountains providing a foil for the blazing reds and oranges of in the tree tops. All of these elements are reflected in the glass-like surface of a lake, and the whole picture is suggestive of sound and motion beneath the apparent stillness. For instance, the feather-like brushstrokes in the trees make the viewer imagine the breeze rustling through it and the colors of the lake suggest a soft light dancing on its surface.
“New Dawn” on the other hand plays with contrasts rather than complementary hues and shapes. In it, the blue and purple sky is embellished with sorbet-like swirls of melon and citrus yellows. Against it, a series of lines suggesting a forest and two clearly depicted trees are silhouetted darkly. The ground beneath them is a combination of dark and light green, suggesting the steady advance of the sun.
These three paintings are attractive and evocative renderings of nature, just as all good landscape paintings should be. Those who would like to see these three works, purchase them, or see other pieces from local artists should visit the Jade Dragon’s Suites, one of the nice yet cheap hotels in Davao City. This Davao hotel is located on Aurora street and is home to Chings Resto-Kaffee, a cafe that serves up good food and good art at the same time.
The symbolism of the painting is obvious at a glance as we see the anthropomorphic figure of a tree kneeling with the sun behind its back. This figure is a fusion of a pregnant woman and the plant that most symbolises life for many of us. The tree is the woman and the woman is the tree. Roots grow out of her limbs, and branches and leaves sprout from her head and her hair. One hand covers a pair of nourishing breasts while the other cradles a belly that is swollen with child.
This painting would be easy enough to interpret, but what makes the viewer give it a second glance is the expression on the human face that is depicted in this painting. It is not that of a young woman pregnant for the first time but rather a mother who has the wisdom earned over many years of nurturing and caring for her children. The lines of the face are almost harsh as the artist strives to achieve the effect of glowing. It is a countenance lit from within as well as from the ambient light and it is one that is no stranger to strong emotions, including pain.
The serious look of the woman in the picture drives home the point that the ability to bear life is not to be taken lightly – above all, it is not easy. It is a task that is painful at times, and certainly causes a lot of internal turmoil. This is the feeling that the viewer gets from the glowering clouds stacked in the yellow sky and the meaningful pose and expression of the central figure.
This painting and others like it can be found at Chings Resto-Kaffee located in the Jade Dragon’s Suites, known as one of the nicer cheap hotels in Davao City. More than just a Davao hotel, the Jade Dragon’s Suites also allows its guests and patrons to view beautiful works of art and purchase these if they are so inclined.
The tableau of a loving child and mother is one that is very familiar to us in both the fine arts and popular culture. There is nothing that evokes emotion like the Maddona and Child, whether you’re talking about one of Raphael’s many depictions of the subject, or a simple TV commercial for children’s paracetamol. In the artwork entitled “Aruga” Rey Fuentes gives us another rendition of this touching theme, this time rendered in driftwood narra.
There is something very fitting about the use of narra to portray the uniquely loving relationship between a mother and her baby. Narra, after all, is the tree that we have chosen to symbolize our motherland. It is a hardwood that is said to be almost as lasting and durable as iron and far more rich and evocative in appearance. “Aruga” is a term that means “to care for” and only a substance as steadfast as the narra can approximate how strongly and fiercely a mother will protect and nurture her child.
“Aruga” is a teardrop-shaped wood carving that depicts a mother holding her baby close to her body. She is facing out to the viewer with her eyes closed as her child – with its back to us and his cheek pressed against her lips –nestles towards her to enjoy the caress. The artist places great emphasis on his subjects’ bodies and features, but his attention is focused to the middle of the piece where the action happens; the lower part of this piece is more roughly finished. Meanwhile, above the loving pair is a towering, arrow-shaped slab with a carved circular symbol in the middle that could stand for the sun or some other source of light or energy.
This is a powerful piece with a simple message. Unlike the ringleted, fair-faced, and delicate-featured Madonnas of mainstream Western art, we have a mother who has long straight hair, strong features, and a determined rather than a tender look on her face. This is a depiction of motherhood that focuses on the strength that must underlie the softness and gentility of a woman once she has a child.
To view or purchase this artwork, you can visit Chings Resto-Kaffee at the Jade Dragon’s Suites, one of the elegant yet cheap hotels in Davao City. At this Davao hotel, you’ll be treated not only to comfortable accommodations and good food but to an inspiring dose of local culture as well.
Ever since prehistoric men first decided to paint pictures of bison hunts on the stone walls of their caves, painting has been recognized as a wonderful means to make abstract concepts real for us. After all, they do say that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” A painting can make large ideas that can be difficult to negotiate more concrete and easy to imagine. This act of making abstract ideas palpable is evident in “Love, Peace, and Unity” by Romeo Dumuk III.
This acrylic on paper work is a very colourful piece that features a number of elements. The predominant colors are blue and earth tones such as warm browns, oranges and yellows. The center of the painting is dominated by a human-like figure who seems to be seated in a pose reminiscent of the Buddha. His hands are clasped together with the fingers coming to a point and directed skyward. His lower limbs are bent, but instead of assuming the arrangement for the lotus position they flow downwards. Upon closer examination, it is revealed that what looks like legs are actually the bodies of two smaller figures with bent knees and hands similarly clasped in a position of prayer. These small figures look like children, suspended in the blue haze that forms the background of this painting.
Above these praying figures, there is a bright yellow flower that resembles a daisy or a wildflower – something simple and unassuming that you would find growing freely by the roadside rather than in an expensive bouquet. This flower-like image could also be a heavenly object – a bright sun or a light radiating from the sky. From the corona of this bit of blossom or light – whichever it is – come blue and red lines that appear to embrace the top third of the picture. Beneath it are swirls and spatters of yellow and orange.
Love, peace and unity in this picture are evoked by the exuberant and ingenuous execution of the artist. It is a simple picture, yet one that manages to give the viewer a feeling of gladness and tranquility. Indeed, this painting is a good example of MacLuhan’s maxim about the medium being the message.
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The Romantics believed that the best Art could only come after the initial outpouring of emotion was over and the artist had had the leisure to examine the feelings engendered by the event in a state of tranquility Modern artists meanwhile believe that for art to be alive it should be more visceral, and powered by raw emotion if need be. The art work by Bryan Cabrera entitled “She Loves Me, She Loves Me” obviously belongs to the latter school of thought.
While this ballpen on paper creation takes love as its subject, but it does not depict the sweet or the fulfilling side of love. Rather, it forces the viewer to acknowledge that what we call the “tender passion” can sometimes be anything but that. Instead of tenderness, this work reveals the pain that is the natural consequence of loving fiercely and deeply. Indeed, although this painting could easily be read as the aftermath of a separation or a breakup, the same strong energy could come from a tempestuous love story in which the partners are still together.
“She Loves Me, She Loves Me” is a sensational picture of blood and violence. The artist – in true modern or indeed, post-modern fashion – does not hesitate to blatantly employ the sensational to catch the viewer’s attention. This painting depicts two hands – one holding a knife that is severing the fingers of the other, which is splayed out as if in agony. Gout of blood metamorphose into what looks like red rose petals, which also fill a bowl in the upper right-hand corner. Tellingly, only the middle finger of the mutilated hand remains upraised in defiance.
There is a stark and startling realism in this picture, thanks to the artist’s skill. Indeed, this art work is all the more amazing for having been made only with the simplest of tools – the lowly ball-point pen. It has the air of a teenagers troubled doodling in schoolbook or journal, an effect which is particularly suited to the type of sentiment that this painting seeks to express. The title along with the disturbing imagery makes for a very contemporary piece that is not for the faint of heart.
Those who would like to purchase this piece or see others like it should visit Chings Resto-Kaffee in one of the nice, cheap hotels in Davao City. The Jade Dragon’s Suites is a Davao hotel that houses this charming cafe-cum-gallery that’s a favorite with locals and tourists.